Travel Knitting

Hi! I have good news :) My (dumb) wrists & forearms are starting to feel better! I’m still trying to be patient & cautious and not overdo anything. I’m still not really knitting again, yet. But feeling normal without any knitting is a good first step!

I also have some travel coming up soon, and I’m hoping I’ll be 100% better and knit-ready in time for that. Knitting is one of the things that makes travel fun for me! I always give myself permission to spend any time I’m in airports/waiting in lineups/passenging in cars for a long time/[other travel bothers]… I spent those times knitting, which makes the time pleasant instead of tiresome.

Another special permission I give myself is to choose an entirely new project and START it at the start of the journey. That way I have something exciting to look forward to, and a way to distract myself from worrying about delays or stuff I forgot to pack or the hundred other details I can obsess about.

Travel knitting is tricky though! For me, it has to be several things:

1. Small & lightweight! No use packing the giant, in-progress blanket, or 6 skeins of chunky yarn for a sweater. It must fit into my purse.

2. Exciting! I like to choose new yarn to wind, a new pattern to explore, something that really makes my heart go pitter-pat.

3. Diverse! I do make a point to bring at least two, usually three different things with me, so I can have some variety, especially if it’s more than a day or so of travel. Something engaging for long quiet spans (like lace!); something extremely easy/memorizable (a sock, or a plain scarf or cowl with no shaping); something else that makes me happy…

4. No overlaps! Ideally, none of the projects I bring need the same needles, so there’s no swapping around needed.

I’m having a really hard time choosing, this time. I poked around my yarn closet to see what yarn I was feeling into, and two skeins jumped out. One sock weight, and one lace weight, both in stereotypically springy colours.

Pink & black sock

This one is wool/nylon sock weight, by miss gusset, and I loooove it. I’ve had it in my stash for a while, and it just makes me super happy.

Pink & black sock

Coral Lace

The second skein is beautiful 50% wool, 50% silk lace weight by Vancouver Island’s Sweatermaker!

Coral Lace

I’m having the worst time choosing patterns though, mostly because the yardage for both yarns is lowish.

The lovely sock weight is around 330 yards, and the lace weight is around 380. I’m also thinking about avoiding pooling, with the sock weight, and showing off the beautiful subtle tonality of the lace weight. I’d like to useĀ both yarns to their best advantage! Maybe a simple seed stitch cowl in the sock weight? Maybe the Campanula Scarf in the laceweight, since it looks so great in pink?

What do you think? What would you knit with these yarns? Do you bring knitting with you when you travel?

Garter Chevron Blanket – halfway catchup!

I was looking through some photos from the last two weeks, and realized that I DO have new photos of my garter chevron blanket to share, even though I’m stillĀ on knitting hiatus, for now, while my wrists and forearms heal up from overuse.

I actually made a bunch of progress on this project in a short span of time — which is part of how I messed up my stupid wrists in the first place! I had a couple of days in a row where I had to spent 5+ hours sitting quietly, waiting for things. PERFECT for knitting, right? Except, it’s not a good idea to knit garter stitch (knit knit knit knit with no purls or other stitches) for the whole 5 hours with no breaks.

Clover Leaf!

Although I regret it now, because it’s meant such a dumb hiatus, I did get quite a lot knit.

Clover Leaf!

I finished the third colour/second stripe! This was the first really truly green stripe, in a colourway called “granny smith.” I’m still really loving how this is coming out – I know the colours wouldn’t be for everyone, but they’re very me :)

Clover Leaf!

This next stripe is the only non-Cascade yarn. This 3rd stripe/4th colour is Classic Wool from Patons, in a bright medium green called “clover leaf”. Why different yarn? For the most practical reason ever: this yarn in this colour happened to be on super sale at my LYS. It fit into the colour scheme was economical to boot!

Clover Leaf!

I’m super excited about how this blanket is shaping up! I think I’m firmly in “knitted blanket junkie” territory, now.

Walking… Still not knitting

There were some completely lovely comments on my last (quite whiny, really) post about wrist pain and time away from knitting – thank you lovely commenters!

I’m still on my knitting break, so I don’t have anything yarny to show you. I did go on a lovely rainy walk, though, and I thought I’d share some of the best bits.

I started out near the inner harbour, which I kind of love on gray days.

Harbour

This time of year, Victoria also has lots of cherry blossoms – super pretty!

Cherry blossoms

AN ADORABLE SNAIL!!!

Snailio!

There was some fiber-ey content – I passed three or four of Victoria’s giant spindle whorl sculptures (more on them here – they’re called “Signs of Lekwungen”, and honour the Coast Salish). I love, love, love having such amazing and public connections to fiber arts in my city!

Awesome giant spindles

Spindle detail!

It’s 100% spring here, so flowers are happening!

Blurry but pretty

There’s also a series of sculptures around the harbour of hands doing a variety of things. I both love them AND think they’re super super creepy :)

Super creepy hands sculpture!

I love my city, and walking is definitely a good thing; I’m still looking forward to getting back to knitting, though!

Enforced Knitting Breaks Are No Fun.

My wrists hurt.

Sometimes, I knit a bit too much in one session. Often, the student side of my life, or some part of one of my jobs, requires a LOT of typing or handwriting in a short span of time (ie. hand writing comments onto 40+ essays in a couple of days, or doing revisions to a dissertation chapter in one very focussed weekend).

Even one of those activities tends to aggravate my wrists and forearms, but if there’s more than one going on at once, I can be pretty certain I’m going to have a flare up of “UGH WTF WRISTS”, as I think of it.

Unfortunately, when this happens to me, it seems to take far longer to heal the injury than it did to cause it in the first place. A couple of days of high-intensity wrist activity, and I end up facing a week, or more, of NO KNITTING time.

This is what’s been going on in the last week! Siiiiiiigh. It’s a HUGE bummer. And, remember this post? Not being able to knit makes managing my stress way more challenging for me.

Instead of knitting, to keep myself busy, I’ve been reading a lot (I just finished John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines – verdict: interesting, but nowhere near as good as The Fault In Our Stars or Looking for Alaska; I’m also just finishing up Joan Jacobs Brumberg’s The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls, and starting Carrie Pitzulo’s Bachelors and Bunnies: The Sexual Politics of Playboy, going for walks by the ocean (which I love doing even when I CAN knit), and watching lots of documentaries (The Loving Story, for example, is AMAZING – and it’s on netflix right now!).

Despite those fun activities, I am DYING to get back to knitting on my chevron stripe blanket. Hopefully soon… in the meantime, I’m going to keep icing my wrists and trying to stay busy. Do you have strategies for keeping your knitting muscles happy or helping them heal when they get hurt?

Yellow to Gold to Granny Smith

I took my garter stitch chevron blanket out for coffee and a donut this week! That right there, friends, is an earl grey donut. It was FAN. TASTIC :)

Yarn, latte, donut. Good.

Also, Miss New Zealand thinks this blanket is hers, already. She’s generally a big fan of squishy knitted fabric, and this is no exception. If I’m not quick to put it away, this is what happens:

Feline usurper ;)

Can I show you some actual progress instead of just snacks and cats? YES! Ta da!

Giant chevron!

I’ve modified from the original pattern a little bit. Instead of working 50 rows per stripe, I’m doing 60 (30 garter ridges). I just wanted to use up more yarn and have a wider stripe than I had at 50 rows.

Sharp corner

I like how it’s looking so far! Up next: apple green. I think the colourway is actually called “granny smith”.

Greens!

Greens!

Even though most of the time it’s squashed into a blob in my lap, it’s starting to be pretty substantial size-wise!

Blanket-ey!

Adding apple green

Can I bust out this stripe in a week or less? (Probably. My other activities this week will be deadline-dissertation-chapter-writing [ugh], deadline-TA-grading [ugh], and feeling grumpy and sad about my still far far away spouse [a million ughs]. That stuff means more knitting.)

Adding apple green